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Migrant Boat Capsizes Near Lampedusa: Toddler Dead, Eight Missing in Surge of Arrivals



Migrant Boat Capsizes

Off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, a migrant boat capsized on Monday evening, resulting in the tragic death of a 2-year-old girl and leaving eight individuals missing. Italian coast guard and local fishermen rescued 43 people, primarily from Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, and Mali, who had departed from Sfax, Tunisia.

Simultaneously, a fishing boat carrying 400 migrants docked at Lampedusa’s commercial port, bringing Monday’s total arrivals to 800 in 11 separate incidents.

Lampedusa, Italy’s southernmost point, faces ongoing challenges due to mass migrant arrivals, overwhelming services designed for a capacity of only 400 individuals.

The Central Mediterranean route remains the busiest path to the European Union, with over 143,000 attempted entries in the first nine months of 2023, as reported by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex).

Migrant Boat Capsizes

The surge in arrivals prompted Italy’s government, led by Giorgia Meloni, to adopt new measures in September, focusing on migrants ineligible for asylum and slated for repatriation.

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These measures include extending detention time to the EU maximum of 18 months and planning to expand detention center capacity to address the persistent issue of insufficient space, allowing many to continue northward despite repatriation orders.

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